by Telegraph Reporters, The Telegraph, September 25, 2017
The chief executive of Uber has apologised for mistakes that led to Transport for London withdrawing its operating licence, as he affirmed his commitment to fight the ban.
In an open letter to all Londoners Dara Khosrowshahi said the transport technology company has to change if it is to survive in the capital.
He said Uber, which he took control of four weeks ago, wanted to "make things right" for its 3.5m London customers and 40,000 drivers.
The open apology comes three days after TfL decided to strip Uber of its operating licence, criticising its safety record and raising concerns over the US tech giant’s business methods.
He told customers: "We won’t be perfect, but we will listen to you; we will look to be long-term partners with the cities we serve; and we will run our business with humility, integrity and passion”.
His tone represents a clear break from the confrontational position Uber took on Friday, when it accused TfL of closing London off to innovation and bowing to vested interests. Since then, the company has softened its approach and suggested it is willing to address the transport body's criticism's.
"While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world, it's equally true that we've got things wrong along the way," Khosrowshahi said. "On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologised for the mistakes we've made."Mr Khosrowshahi was made chief executive after Uber's founder Travis Kalanick was forced out in June. One of the new boss's major priorities is seen as fixing the company's hard-charging culture, which critics say has helped foster sexism and rule-breaking from employees.
Uber's licence in London runs out on Saturday but the company can continue to operate as it appeals TfL's decision not to renew the licence, a process that is likely to take months.
A petition calling on London mayor Sadiq Khan to reverse the ban on Uber has now gathered more than 750,000 signatures.